Regional

Money worries

MBU could miss RSPL opening game on Sunday

BY PAUL A REID
Observer West writer

Thursday, August 31, 2017

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TUCKER, St James - Former champions Montego Bay United (MBU) say that unless there is a resolution to the long-standing and vexed issue of the over $3 million owed to them by the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) from last season, they are unsure if they will take part in the Red Stripe Premier League match scheduled for Sunday.

In a letter to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), a copy of which was obtained by the Jamaica Observer West, MBU described their financial situation as dire and advised the JFF of their “unavailability to participate in the slated commencement of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) on Sunday, September 3, 2017”.

MBU, who played in three consecutive finals, winning two, are down to play away to Harbour View in Kingston on Sunday, and insist that they won't be able afford the trip.

Additionally, the letter said they will be unable to host the first Monday night game scheduled for September 11 as they could not afford the costs associated with staging that game, which includes rental of the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

Prior to the start of the 2016/17 season, MBU, then the defending champions advised the PLCA, which is in charge of the commercial properties of the RSPL, that they would not be accepting the $350,000 that is paid to each of the 12 teams taking part in the competition over 10 months.

There was a subsequent change of heart, however, the Tucker, St James-based club did not receive the funds, with PLCA executive Carvel Stewart stating publicly that the two-time champions would not get any of the money based on their own request.

A long drawn out back-and-forth ensued, but earlier this week Bruce Gaynor, the interim president of the JFF, said they had ordered that they monies owed must be paid over. However, the PLCA said they did not have the means by which to so do.

In the letter that was addressed to Raymond Grant the JFF's general secretary, MBU said: “Due the great duress and financial constraints that Montego Bay United Football Club (MBUFC) has been subjected to, we advise of our unavailability to participate in the slated commencement of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) on Sunday, September 3, 2017.

“We anticipated that the outstanding matter of monies due to MBUFC would have been resolved before this stage, but find that the position [in which] we have been unduly placed, makes it impossible and extremely difficult to host or make preparations to participate in Sunday's kick-off.”

The letter pointed out that MBU still had outstanding bills from last year due to their inability to collect the sums that were paid to the other 11 teams, and this, they said, created “an unlevelled playing field”.

The letter also said it would be difficult to prepare to host the Monday night game as they would not be able to take care of “game day mandatory necessities, such as venue rental, policing, security, emergency services”.

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